Book Writing Writing Prompts

Irresistible Book Titles: 3-Steps to Captivate Your Audience Emotionally

Most authors create clever book titles.

I’ve tried that with books, articles and even online courses — but they didn’t sell. 

The audience didn’t feel connected.

But after analysing 12 non-fiction titles on my bookshelf that I bought without hesitation, I’ve figured out a 3-part framework that creates irresistible headlines.

Here are 3 simple steps to write a catchy book title in 5 minutes (this also works for articles).

They will help you to:

• capture attention

• make a promise

• speak to the right audience

Let’s dive in.

#1 Who — the ideal reader

The best way to emotionally connect to your target audience is to say who they are in your title, or at least the subtitle.

3 examples from the book writing world:

  • The 100-Page Book — The Business owner’s Guide to Self-Publishing a Short Customer Attraction Book.
  • Professors as Writers. A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing.
  • Just Write the Damn Book. The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Writing & Publishing Your Non-Fiction Book

When you name your audience in your title, you clearly identify who should feel a little ‘ping’ in the bookshop when they walk by your book (or when they scroll online).

And if a reader feels ‘that’s me’, they will stop browsing and take a closer look because they hope for a connection (we’re all human).

#2 What — the promise

Now that you’ve got your audience ‘see themselves in your book’, the title should make them a promise: What will they get out of reading it? A how-to guide? Research-based insights? Examples, stories, trends, mistakes, your life’s lessons?

Also, an easy way to make that clear is to use numbers, e.g. 12 steps, 7 Mistakes, etc. Numbers help you emotionally connect because readers automatically know they’ll get your insights in small chunks and you’ll take them by the hand.

Here are a few examples of books on my shelf:

  • Wired to Create. Discover the 10 Things Great Artist, Writers and Innovators Do Differently.
  • Ten Things About Writing. Build Your Story… One Word At at Time.
  • The 4 Pillar Plan. How to Relax, Eat, Move, Sleep Your Way to a Longer, Healthier Life.

Remember, no reader will emotionally connect with your book title if they don’t know what you are promising them. And, by the way, don’t promise something that’s not inside — they’ll open the first pages and get upset instead of loving and recommending your book.

So, step 1 and 2 make it easy for a specific person to emotionally invest in the specific promise you make to them. This even works with academic books, or research-based, objective books. Your reader is always a human being first.

#3 Why — the life transformation

Now, your title needs to do one more thing: Connect with the bigger life purpose of your audience. They don’t just want 10 tips. They also need to emotionally connect to the bigger “why” of what your book will give them.

Why should the audience receive your insights, beyond the tips they get? What will stir hope, excitement, or make them feel seen?

Here are a few examples:

  • The Genius Zone. The Breakthrough Process to End Negative Thinking and Live in True Creativity.
  • Time to Write. Inspiring Lessons and Practical Skills for Writing the Novel You’ve Always Wanted.
  • The Savvy Writer’s Guide to Productivity. How to Work Less, Finish Writing Your Story or Book, and Find the Success You Deserve.

Play around with your book title ideas and apply the what, who and why step by step. Often, it’s a combination of title and subtitle that helps your reader emotionally connect to your book — and buy it.

And if you’re writing articles, a newsletter, or blog posts, the same rules apply!

Let me guide you through the book starting process with my [free] mini course “Start Your Book in 5 Days”. Sign up by clicking this link:

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